New York State’s Department of Health has released their annual statement, listing the various levels of income and resources used to determine eligibility for Medicaid in 2020.
Some of the most frequently-used figures are shown in the chart below.
These income and resource levels are applicable to people who are over 65. People under 65 can apply if they have low income.
In addition to income and resource limits for individuals, other rules apply specifically to married couples. Married people have spousal protections, including the “MMMNA” – Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (monthly income for the “well spouse”) – and the “CSRA” – Community Spouse Resource Allowance (an asset allowance, also for the “well spouse”).
The MMMNA and the CSRA are designed to avoid what is called “spousal impoverishment.” The government wanted to put some guardrails on the system to prevent a “well spouse” from becoming impoverished in the process of paying for the care needs of an “ill spouse.”
With the MMMNA, the well spouse is entitled to some of the ill spouse’s income while the ill spouse is in a nursing home, if the well spouse’s individual income is below a certain level.
The CSRA permits a well spouse to keep a certain level of assets, based on a CSRA formula. The goal in this instance is to try to ensure that the well spouse does not use up all the assets paying for the ill spouse. If that happened, the “well spouse” might have nothing left afterwards, in the all-too-possible scenario where the well spouse later falls ill and requires care him- or herself.
For more detail, see GIS 19 MA/12, in the New York State’s General Information System, Office of Health Insurance Programs Division.